Prank back­fires as swim team makes Bei­jing

Central Leader - - News -

The San­dring­ham res­i­dent played an in­te­gral part in the qual­i­fi­ca­tion process, record­ing a scorch­ing 49.40 sec­onds, al­most a sec­ond faster than his best in­di­vid­ual time.

“That was a spe­cial race. It was just us in a pool and ev­ery­one was go­ing crazy in the com­plex,” he says.

“I was shak­ing up on the blocks but ready to do what I needed to do.”

Orinoco’s suc­cess comes on top of se­cur­ing a gold medal at the world ju­nior champs in Mex­ico last month in his favoured 50m freestyle.

Se­cur­ing the top spot was es­pe­cially pleas­ing for the teen be­cause he fell ill dur­ing the event, al­though he missed out on the Olympic qual­i­fy­ing time for the 50m at the New Zealand tri­als in March.

The 18-year-old says he’s look­ing for­ward to rub­bing shoul­ders with other ath­letes in Bei­jing, and will try to take in a game of bas­ket­ball if he gets time.

He will have the sup­port of his mum Alosina, af­ter a fundrais­ing cam­paign raised enough money for her to travel to Bei­jing.

“It def­i­nitely helps me out hav­ing some­one from home there. It keeps me grounded and fo­cused on what I have to do,” he says.

Orinoco’s Laser Mt Eden club coach Glenn Hamblyn is con­fi­dent the re­lay team, which also in­cludes Cameron Gib­son and William Ben­son, will do well at the Games. “Guys tend to put a bit more in for the team. They’ll be gun­ning for the fi­nal.”

It’s the first time a swim­mer from the Mt Eden club has reached the Olympics since An­thony Mosse in the 1980s.

“It’s good for young kids to see what can be achieved,” Hamblyn says.

The men’s 4 x 100 freestyle re­lay heat is on Sun­day, with the fi­nal on Mon­day.

Orinoco Faa­mausili-Banse-Prince

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